There should be plenty of entertaining tennis on day three at the ATP Vienna Open with six intriguing matches on the schedule and a host of star names set to take to the court. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Matteo Berrettini vs Nikoloz Basilashvili. But who will reach the quarterfinals?
ATP Vienna Day 3 predictions
Gael Monfils vs Lorenzo Musetti
Head-to-head: first meeting
It has been a difficult season for Gael Monfils. The Frenchman remains one of the most gifted athletes in the men’s game, but he has struggled with injuries throughout his career and this season has been no exception. He comes into this match with a below-par 15-16 record as a result and a ranking that has remained in the top 30 only due to the effective freeze that was put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. That said, there were some promising signs for Monfils in Indian Wells where he reached the third round.
Lorenzo Musetti, in a marked contrast with the veteran Monfils, is still very much finding his way in the men’s game. The Italian has had some standout results, particularly on the clay, but he has hardly been a model of consistency. Either way, he should be more acclimatised to the indoor conditions in Vienna than Monfils after reaching the second round in Antwerp last week and one suspects that he will find the slightly slower courts in the Austrian capital more to his liking than those in Belgium.
Still, this looks like a difficult matchup for the young gun on paper. He is most comfortable playing on the front foot and dictating, but there is still room for improvement in terms of his weight of shot. Against a player who covers the court as well as Monfils, Musetti might struggle to hit enough winners. The Italian has also not yet made the adjustments to the trajectory of his groundstrokes and his court position to really thrive on hard courts. The wins will surely come for Musetti before too long, but expect Monfils’ greater experience and nous to give him the edge here.
Prediction: Monfils in 3
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Andy Murray vs Carlos Alcaraz
Head-to-head: Murray 1-0 Alcaraz
If this match is as good as their clash in the Californian desert earlier this month, the fans at the ATP Vienna Open should be in for some match. Andy Murray came out on top in that contest, beating Carlos Alcaraz 5-7 6-3 6-2 and he should come into this match in a confident mood. The Briton may have fallen short of defending his title in Antwerp last time out, but the signs over the last few weeks have been encouraging for the former-world #1.
The problem for Murray is that he has faced some very tough draws and that trend continued in Vienna where he found himself up against fifth seed and world #10 Hubert Hurkacz in the first round. But Murray was able to use every ounce of his grit and determination to find a way past the Pole, winning 6-4 6-7 6-3 to claim one of the more memorable wins of his season. If he can maintain the level he displayed against Hurkacz, this could be a difficult day for Alcaraz.
The Spaniard did get his campaign off in Vienna off to a good start with a straightforward 6-3 6-4 win over Murray’s compatriot Dan Evans, but Evans has had an indifferent season by the high standards he has set in recent years. Make no mistake, Alcaraz has the tools to win this match, but he couldn’t find a way through Murray in more favourable conditions in Indian Wells and that doesn’t inspire much confidence in his ability to beat Murray in Vienna.
Prediction: Murray in 3
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Fabio Fognini vs Diego Schwartzman
Head-to-head: Fognini 1-1 Schwartzman
It has been a strange and, for the most part, disappointing season for Diego Schwartzman. But the Argentine has found some form in recent weeks, or at least a way to win some matches. He scraped into the quarterfinals at the ATP Indian Wells Masters, saving a match point in his opener against Maxime Cressy, and he backed that up by reaching the final last time out in Antwerp although he was well-beaten there by Jannik Sinner.
He will no doubt be hoping to keep this recent surge going and keep his slender hopes of reaching the ATP Finals in Turin alive. But this looks like a potentially tough test for the eighth seed. Fabio Fognini is not the force he once was, with the Italian’s days at the very top of the game surely over, for an apparent lack of motivation if nothing else. But he remains a very clean ball-striker capable of beating just about anyone when he is firing on all cylinders.
Whether he will play his best tennis in Vienna is anyone’s guess, but the conditions should suit his game relatively well. The matchup is probably less favourable, however. One of Schwartzman’s greatest strengths is his return of serve and the one weakness that has always prevented Fognini from consistently challenging for the biggest titles (besides his difficulty in concentrating on the task in hand) is his serve. It may well cost him once again here.
Prediction: Schwartzman in 3
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